The research presented in this paper is an effort to better understand the interlaminar fracture behavior of graphite/epoxy composite laminates in cryogenic conditions. Double cantilever beam tests were performed on different types of specimens, at room and cryogenic temperatures, and the fracture toughness was calculated from their load-displacement diagram. Additionally, the fracture toughness of some plain-weave textile composite specimens and specimens treated with nanoparticles (38nmAl2O3) were also measured. It was observed that all specimens, with the exception of woven composites, showed deterioration in fracture toughness at the liquid nitrogen temperature. Nanoparticle treated specimens showed an improvement in fracture toughness, both at room and cryogenic temperatures compared to the control specimens. The woven composite specimens showed an increase in fracture toughness at cryogenic temperature. The results indicate that woven fiber composites may have potential in lightweight cryogenic storage systems.

1.
Final Report of the X-33 Liquid Hydrogen Tank Test Investigation Team, 2000, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, May.
2.
Grimsley
,
B. W.
,
Cano
,
R. J.
,
Johnston
,
N. J.
,
Loos
,
A. C.
, and
McMahon
,
W. M.
, 2001, “
Hybrid Composites for LH2 Fuel Tank Structures
,”
Presented at 33rd International SAMPE Technical Conference
, November 4–8, Seattle, Washington, SAMPE, Covina, CA.
3.
Anderson
,
T. L.
, 1995,
Fracture Mechanics
,
2nd ed.
,
CRC Press LLC
, Boca Raton, FL.
4.
Sankar
,
B. V.
, and
Sonik
,
V.
, 1995, “
Point Wise Energy Release Rate in Delaminated Plates
,”
AIAA J.
0001-1452,
33
(
7
), pp.
1312
1318
.
5.
Sun
,
C. T.
, and
Zheng
,
S.
, 1996, “
Delamination Characteristics of Double Cantilever Beam and End-Notched Flexure Composite Specimens
,”
Compos. Sci. Technol.
0266-3538,
56
, pp.
451
459
.
6.
Davidson
,
B. D.
,
Kruger
,
R.
, and
Konig
,
M.
, 1996, “
Effect of Stacking Sequence on Energy Release Rate Distributions in Multidirectional DCB and ENF Specimens
,”
Eng. Fract. Mech.
0013-7944,
55
(
4
), pp.
557
569
.
7.
de Morais
,
A. B.
,
de Moura
,
M. F.
,
Marques
,
A. T.
, and
de Castro
,
P. T.
, 2002, “
Mode I Interlaminar Fracture of Carbon/Epoxy Cross-Ply Composites
,”
Compos. Sci. Technol.
0266-3538,
62
, pp.
679
686
.
8.
de Morais
,
A. B.
, 2003, “
Double Cantilever Beam Testing of Multidirectional Laminates
Composites, Part A
1359-835X,
34
(
12
), pp.
1135
1142
.
9.
Ashcroft
,
I. A.
,
Hughes
,
D. J.
, and
Shaw
,
S. J.
, 2001, “
Mode I Fracture of Epoxy Bonded Composite Joints: 1. Quasi-Static Loading
,”
Int. J. Adhes. Adhes.
0143-7496,
21
, pp.
87
99
.
10.
Shindo
,
Y.
,
Horiguchi
,
K.
,
Wang
,
R.
, and
Kudo
,
H.
, 2001, “
Double Cantilever Beam Measurement and Finite Element Analysis of Cryogenic Mode I Interlaminar Fracture Toughness of Glass-Cloth/Epoxy Laminates
,”
ASME J. Eng. Mater. Technol.
0094-4289,
123
, pp.
191
197
.
11.
Sharma
,
S. K.
, and
Sankar
,
B. V.
, 1995 “
Effects of Through-the-Thickness Stitching on Impact and Interlaminar Fracture Properties of Textile Graphite/Epoxy Laminates
,” NASA Contractor Report 195042.
12.
Wallace
,
B. T.
,
Sankar
,
B. V.
, and
Ifju
,
P. G.
, 2001, “
Pin Reinforcement of Delaminated Sandwich Beams Under Axial Compression
,”
J. Sandwich Struct. Mater.
,
3
(
2
), pp.
117
129
.
13.
Rys
,
T. P.
,
Chen
,
L.
, and
Sankar
,
B. V.
, 2004, “
Mixed Mode Fracture Toughness of Laminated Stitched Composites
,” SEM X Paper 293,
Proceedings of the 2004 SEM X International Congress and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics
, Costa Mesa, CA.
14.
Wu
,
S. H.
,
Wang
,
F. Y.
,
Ma
,
C. C. M.
,
Chang
,
W. C.
,
Kuo
,
C. T.
,
Kuan
,
H. C.
, and
Chen
,
W. J.
, 2001, “
Mechanical, Thermal and Morphological Properties of Glass Fiber and Carbon Fiber Reinforced Ployamide-6 and Polyamide-6/ clay Nanocomposites
,”
Mater. Lett.
0167-577X,
49
, pp.
327
333
.
15.
Becker
,
O.
,
Varley
,
R. J.
, and
Simon
,
G. P.
, 2003, “
Use of Layered Silicates to Supplementarily Toughen High Performance Epoxy-Carbon Fiber Composites
,”
J. Mater. Sci. Lett.
0261-8028,
22
, pp.
1411
1414
.
16.
Timmerman
,
J. F.
,
Hayes
,
B. S.
, and
Seferis
,
J. S.
, 2002, “
Nanoclay Reinforcement Effects on the Cryogenic Microcracking of Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Composites
,”
Compos. Sci. Technol.
0266-3538,
62
, pp.
1249
1258
.
17.
ASTM D 5528-94a, 1996, “
Standard Test Method for Mode I Interlaminar Fracture Toughness of Unidirectional Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Material Composites
” Annual Book of ASTM Standards, 15.03, pp.
280
289
.
18.
Kalarikkal
,
S. G.
, 2004, “
Fracture Toughness of Graphite/Epoxy Laminates at Cryogenic Conditions
,” M.S. thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
You do not currently have access to this content.